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Copper demand surges globally

13 Jun 2024

 The copper industry is experiencing a boom due to growing demand necessitated by global energy transition demands, Minister of Minerals and Energy, Mr Lefoko Moagi has said.

The minister made the remarks during the future of mining summit in Gaborone on Wednesday.

 He said global infrastructure developments to support renewable energy projects and other ventures required large amounts of copper thus creating a global appetite for the metal. 

“To keep the energy transition going, a huge amount of copper wiring will be required for strengthening the world’s power grids and to build wind and solar farms,” he said.

Minister Moagi also said electric vehicles, which were now in demand, used twice as much copper as gasoline-powered ones. He said the positive outlook for copper in the medium and long-term, had resulted in investments in local copper mines. 

“I approved the acquisition of Khoemacau Copper Mine by MMG Group which has committed to expanding the mine’s production and creating 1 000 more jobs in addition to the 1 700 currently supported by the mine,” he said.

The minister contrasted recent copper prices with yesteryears when prices were low leading to the closure of some mines and the liquidation of some operations. 

“One may recall that in 2016 government was forced to put the BCL mine under liquidation as it was difficult to operate due to the fall in commodity prices, to be precise, copper prices. BCL was not the only copper mine that closed, as several other copper mines closed both locally and in the region,” he said.

 He also noted that Boseto and Mowana mines were some of the liquidated. 

He noted that as the country basked in the resurrection of the copper industry, it also had to contend with the challenges facing the diamond industry.

He said the diamond industry was subjected to a push down due in part to geopolitics.

He added that the diamond industry was labouring under a myriad of challenges whose weight was shrinking production volumes and demand while decreasing profit margins. 

He said the G7 countries decision to impose sanctions on Russian diamonds compounded the challenges Botswana and other producer countries faced.

He said another concern was the limitation of the tracing and provenance technology and the supply of the machines globally to meet G7 timelines. ENDS

Source : BOPA

Author : Thato Mosinyi

Location : GABORONE

Event : mining summit

Date : 13 Jun 2024